Beloved League City restaurant reopens after adapting to COVID-19 restrictions

LEAGUE CITY, TX (KTRK) -- For its first day of take-out service, Red Oak Café is operating pretty smoothly.

"I'm glad to be back here and doing something," said Matthew Shores, who works in the kitchen.

The business has always adapted to tragedy.

In fact, it wouldn't be here today without it.

Back in 2007, 23 year old Justin Stidham was killed in a car crash.

His grieving mother, Kim Oravetz, first planted a Red Oak tree in her yard to honor him.

Then, she opened cafes in League City and Alvin in his memory.

"I just wanted to say how thankful I am to our staff and our managers for getting us up and running today," she said.

Oravetz is stranded in North Carolina due to coronavirus restrictions.

She's been paying employees since closing the restaurants more than two weeks ago.

But, she knew she couldn't manage that forever.

So, take out it is, even if she can't be there to oversee it.

"I also want to say how much I appreciate to the other small business owners and restaurant owners in the area that have gotten creative during this time and have inspired us to do the same," she said.

For employees, take-out service won't necessarily ensure they will keep their jobs or the restaurant.

But, at least they have a chance to try.

They're working together, no matter how cheesy it sounds.

"Texas Strong! I hate to use that phrase, but I'm going to use it,' laughed manager Vanessa Matala. "And Red Oak loves Texas. We love y'all and we will pray for y'all."

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